Friday, January 11, 2013

Thinking Day Prep

World Thinking Day

This big event is fast approaching and in the midst of cookie selling can often be overlooked until the last minute.  However, there are many things as a leader you can do now to prepare.  Securing your country is first and foremost.  Once you know which country your troop will be representing you can begin the process of generating ideas and research.  While this is certainly a troop event and project, the leader should be well informed about the country to ensure only factual content is presented.  I like to find several useful and informative websites I can refer my girls to so they can begin their study.  Honestly this is a safety issue in my mind and prevents the girls from wandering aimlessly on the internet.  Next I compartmentalize my thought process into categories:

Sample Food

I begin generating suggestions for each category.  This year my Junior Troop is representing Switzerland which is also a World Center.  I plan on serving Nestle Chocolate Bars as our Sample Food and I found an on-line company that sells the original mini bars.  I will get my order in soon to factor int he shipping time. Last year we represented Peru and I ordered several bottles of Inca Soda, since it was an international order it took a while to ship to the states.
Apparel is a challenging we may try and create a "Sound of Music" type costume, or reproduce the Swiss Girl Guide uniform.  If neither of these grandiose ideas work then I can always buy red t-shirts and we can put the white cross on the front to represent the Switzerland flag.

Stamps can be as easy as printed out labels that the girls stick in passports or as dramatic as a real stamp that identifies Switzerland like the flag or a text version that stamps the word "Switzerland".

In the past we have made our flags using fabric and switch witchery, but recently another leader turned me on to 2 VERY inexpensive websites where you can purchase 3x5ft flags for under $10 shipping included.  This seems like a bargain!  I can't hardly make a flag for that price.

It is fun to teach the girls how to say a few words in the native language.  The girls love to new learn words like Hello, Thank You, Bye and even the word Girl Scouts or Girl Guides.

This same leader (Thank Lisa F.) showed me a great way to make passports.  She simply purchases the  extra-small spirals, glues on the front a printed photo of a passport and then attaches a lanyard to the metal spiral brads.  I will improve this awesome idea by printing out the passport photo on labels and the girls can just cut and stick them on the front of the spiral.  Also I will make our own lanyards using clothing line rope I found in the hardware section of Wal-Mart ($2.50/40ft) and the clips I found in the Wal-Mart craft area (80 for $1.98)  I hope to collect the lanyards at the end of WTD night and re-use them in the future.

Daisies will need to be spoon-fed most of the information for their first WTD.  Brownies are a bit more self-sufficient.  I ask them to research the country with parental supervision and write down one interesting fact on an index card that appeals to them.  We share the facts at our next meeting.  I use all the index cards to create fact bullets and print out photos that coincide for our tripod board.  I then encourage the girls to create the board.  Juniors are well versed on the Thinking Day experience.  While I still like to give them a list of useful websites, I allow them to do research on their own.  Encouraging them to record any information or educational facts that would like included on the presentation board.  What facts we are not able to fit on the board, I recommend that the girls share with visitors at our table.  I would imagine as the girls age WTD becomes less work for the leaders and the girls really begin to take over.

Lisa had another BRILLIANT suggestion.  She created a black felt slip cover for her tri-fold foam presentation board.  She places all of her information on cardboard and simply adheres the cardboard using velcro.  This allows her to re-use the foam board each year and save the cardboard research in a folder.  Also I would think this would make it much easier for the girls to work on the cardboard separate from the tri-fold board.   Love this idea!
I welcome any comments or suggestions that make preparing for Thinking Day easier or more efficient.  Have a great idea... let me know!


  1. What if you get to pick your own Country? I'm feeling rather daunted by the choices, & may just default to swiping your excellent ideas!